How to Make Deodorant

By now, most people are aware of the links between deodorants containing aluminum and Alzheimer’s. Aluminum is one of several highly toxic substances the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t protect us from. The non-aluminum deodorant choices stacked on mainstream market shelves don’t do a lot to disinfect or cloak the sweat emerging underarm, either. Consumers wanting the healthiest alternatives are turning to do-it-yourself approaches and figuring out how to make deodorant or the sometimes pricey options available from a few of the more prominent green brands.

Fortunately, where affordable deodorant is concerned, the do-it-yourself formula couldn’t be easier to put together.

How to Make Deodorant:

If you don’t already have them in your kitchen, you’ll want to gather a box of baking soda, a package of arrowroot or cornstarch, and a bottle of organic coconut oil (organic canola makes a suitable stand-in). Essential oils are optional and not necessary. If you opt to use them, lavender, lemon, and tea tree oil are traditional selections with anti-bacterial qualities.

Set aside the container you’ll keep your deodorant in. If you prefer a tube, you can find new deodorant tubes available for purchase online. Before transferring the deodorant to a roll-up applicator, you’ll want to mix it in a separate bowl or container.

Mix together a half-part* baking soda with a part arrowroot (or cornstarch). The dry mix should be thoroughly combined. If you need an extra-strength deodorant, mix equal parts of the baking soda and cornstarch (be careful when working-out with it, in large amounts baking soda can slightly bleach clothes). Add a half-part coconut oil (or canola oil) to the mix, stirring it in thoroughly.

Clumping is natural, just be sure you get everything thoroughly hand-blended. If you’re adding essential oil, keep it to a minimum of a few drops for an amount fitting a 4 oz container. Essential oil is concentrated and when overused it can be pungent and overpowering.

When your deodorant is mixed and optionally scented, cap it or transfer it to your roll-up deodorant container. If you keep water away from the mix, this can easily keep for a year – more likely, it’ll be used within 6 months when used daily. A little goes a very long way. You’re unlikely to look back, and you’ll be healthier for it.

*Note on how to make deodorant:

With this how to make deodorant recipe you can mix it up in large batches to store away for the whole family.

Parts can be any size you choose. If you designate a part’s measure as a teaspoon, a half-part would then be a half-teaspoon. If you assign a part’s measure as a cup, a quarter-part will equal a quarter cup. Using parts as measurements is often easier on the memory.

Do you how to make deodorant?  Any additional suggestions or tweaks to the recipe?

 

45 comments to How to Make Deodorant

  • I have really considered doing this before. This might actually push me to make some. Thanks for the recipe.

  • If the recipe is known and simple is there really no natural company that comes close? I can’t see myself making it but I can absolutely see myself buying it

    • Check out health stores – i’m sure they mark up this type of product 1000% percent from the cost of the components. I find “health” and “green” products do this a ton. Much easier (and cheaper) to make than to buy at an inflated price (even more than regular deodorant).

  • I make my own, but I use a spray recipe that just consists of rubbin alcohol and essential oil for scent. I’ve been using it for about a month and it seems to work well so far.

  • Wow, I have never thought about making my own deodorant. There was a post a while back about making your own cleaning supplies. It makes so much sense for many people. The only problem is that I sweat a lot if I don’t use an anti-perspirant. I do buy my deodorant in bulk to cut back on costs and the amount of packaging. I don’t think I can make the switch… not yet at least. :) Great tips though.

  • Congratulation on Winning the Plutus Award! :)

  • I haven’t tried this but it looks so easy I might just have to. I try to stay away from as many preservatives as possible.

    On another note, congrats on winning the Plutus Award!!

  • Oh, looks like SPF won. Yay. I am really happy for them.

  • I make homemade facial moisturizer using egg and milk at least once a week. I will also try this homemade deodorant next time. Thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve never made my own before but it sounds really easy and inexpensive. Would adding vanilla essential oil work with this recipe?

  • tiger

    for future reference, Miss T., one of the benefits of using parts as a measure is that you don’t have to confuse the issue by referring to fractions. it’s not “a half-part Ingredient X and one part Ingredient Y,” but “one part Ingredient X and two parts Ingredient Y.” just refer to the smallest amount used in the recipe as one part, and you’re good to go with whole numbers all the way down.

  • tiger

    oh, and I forgot to say thanks for the great recipe. ;) gotta try this.

  • marc

    I made two batches from this recipe. I found the cornstarch to be the overwhelming smell. i did one with tea tree oil and it had a slight scent of a hippie. then i tried the other with vanilla. i had to add so much vanilla to cover the cornstarch smell that it was just runny and unusable. i threw both batches out.

  • whackjob72

    Both Alzheimer’s society (UK) and the Alzheimer’s Association (US) have stated that there is only circumstantial evidence, rather than causal evidence with aluminum and Alzheimer’s disease. I’m not saying you shouldn’t avoid chemicals whenever possible, but is it wise to state that there is a link between aluminum and Alzheimer’s when both organizations have distanced themselves from that theory?

    • I think that avoiding chemicals as a whole has been recommended as a proactive health measure and that this is what counts. There are different studies that agree with my point and others that don’t and that is just because there hasn’t been enough time for statistical evidence to transpire. Medical associations tend not to jump on board with a mandate until a study has proven it. However, often times, the point is proven by the time they jump on board.

      • MrSelatcia

        “I think that avoiding chemicals as a whole has been recommended as a proactive health measure and that this is what counts. There are different studies that agree with my point and others that don’t and that is just because there hasn’t been enough time for statistical evidence to transpire.”

        Seriously? This is your reply? Well there isn’t proof yet, but just you wait. In the meantime posting inaccurate and misleading information is perfectly acceptable.

        Further, since when is avoiding chemicals a recommended proactive health measure? You know, considering that THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. Good luck avoiding them.

        “Medical associations tend not to jump on board with a mandate until a study has proven it. However, often times, the point is proven by the time they jump on board.”

        WTF? Are you for real? Of course the point is proven by the time they jump on board. That is what they to make a stand, PROOF! They can’t just take the word of every nutcase out there that their cancer cure works. Medical associations are made this way to protect the public.

        As for the article:

        There is only aluminum put into commercially produced antiperspirants, not deodorants.

        Aluminum is a neurotoxin to humans only when ingested in sufficient doses to be harmful. Unless you are eating bars of antiperspirants daily, there is no need to worry.

        Darbre P.D,. “Aluminium, antiperspirants and breast cancer.” Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 1 Jan. 2005, Volume 99(9): 1912-1919.

        This article is packed full of fail. Was there ANY research done, or were you simply spewing what your naturopath told you?

        • Thank you for your comment. I really appreciate it and like hearing different points of view. As far as avoiding chemicals goes I agree with you, it can be tough right now and you may not be able to do it 100%, however each person can make an effort to limit their exposure in their home, workplace etc.

          As far as proof goes, I work in the medical industry and know that long term effects due to exposure to different elements can take 15-20 years to come to the forefront. Take asbestos for example: you can be exposed as a young adult and not have any medical concerns from it until you are middle aged. My point here is that literature now is starting to elude to the fact that chemicals are carcinogenic (cause cancer) but studies are still in progress. For me, I like to be proactive and get ahead so I have made an effort to avoid them as much as I can. This post was my effort to share how others can do the same. I will not be surprised that in 10 years or so, the recommendation is to avoid chemicals as much as possible. However until those studies are completed, physicians and medical personal are restrained form saying so. However, numerous medical groups in different communities are already taking a stand on this regardless of study status.

          As for aluminum, it can still have effects over time by exposing yourself to small doses. In my line of work, I have seen people in clinic with hormonal imbalances and endocrine issues because of aluminum exposure. After recommending they change their deodorant their levels have normalized.

          It is ok to disagree with this article and the points within it because we are allowed to base our feelings on the knowledge we believe. I just wanted to provide some clarification to your comments.

          • Thanks for the civil discourse Miss T.
            @MrSelatcia – play nice. Attacking comments on this site aren’t usually approved but Miss T requested the opportunity to respond. Your comments are interesting and perhaps valid – however, style is important as well. Thanks.

          • MrSelatcia

            “As far as avoiding chemicals goes I agree with you, it can be tough right now…”

            No, it is impossible. In its most basic form, a chemical is an element, in that it has a specific molecular composition and may be produced by or used during a natural chemical process. Anything made up of matter, or anything that is considered a solid, liquid, or gas, is made up of chemicals.

            “As far as proof goes, I work in the medical industry and know that long term effects due to expsosures to different elements can take 15-20 years to come to the forfront.”

            Ahhhh, the argument from authority. You work in the medical industry, so you must be a medical expert. If you are an expert, please put together a study, and publish your results in a peer reviewed journal. If you do in fact find a causation, you will be very famous in your profession. Until then you will only have anecdotes.

            “I will not be surprised that in 10 years or so, the recommendation is to avoid chemicals as much as possible.”

            Which is evident from your stance. But with what we know now, and what was shown in the study that I cited in my first post, it is highly suspect when you write something like “most people are aware of the links between deodorants containing aluminum and Alzheimer’s. Aluminum is one of several highly toxic substances the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t protect us from” when it just doesn’t jive with what the facts tell us.

            “As for aluminum, it can still have effects over time by exposing yourself to small doses. In my line of work, I have seen people in clinic with hormonal imbalances and endocrine issues because of aluminum exposure. After recommending they change their deodorant their levels have normalized.”

            Which would be proof of nothing since commercially produced deodorant does not contain aluminum. Only antiperspirant does. The two terms are NOT interchangeable. Further, one instance of a hormonal imbalance where this *may* have helped is not evidence.

            @Sustainable PF My comments are not meant to attack the author, only the fallacious information that she lists as fact. The links between deodorant and Alzheimers are quite simply untrue. Your readers deserve better.

  • Willz

    I have to try this sometime! If you dont add an extra scent does it smell like anything? And Does anyone know any fine manly scents? Thanks for writing this!

  • I think this can be a great idea. I have seen posts around about making your own cleaning supplies, but never deodorant. I sweat a lot with traditional deodorant, so I would be scared to try this – especially with working out every day.

  • Thanks for the recipe, Miss T. I am just curious if it leaves any residual marks on clothing?

  • It can but only if you apply too much or don’t let it dry before you put on your clothes. Do both of these and you should be fine.

  • I had never considered this before but I love making as many products as I can, thanks for sharing! I’ve been using crystal deodorant for years but it’s good to know this is something that can be made too.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • SayIzzy

    Thanks for the recipe :)
    My underarms break out from most commercial deodorants, and even many of the “natural” ones. I tend to be a heavier sweater–especially underarms, so I can’t just go without like a few of my friends do. I just mixed up a small batch more or less following this recipe to try out. I don’t have any coconut oil (hard to find around here), and really don’t like canola oil, so I used extra virgin olive oil. As far as essential oils go, all I have is eucalyptus oil, so I put a couple drops (just enough to give it a light scent). So far, so good. It feels light and rubbed on more like thicker lotion (olive oil is liquid at room temperature). Will continue to use what I made up and see how it goes :)

  • unknown

    Honestly, I NEED ‘d-o for my b-o’, but i feel awkward asking my mom to buy me some! Thnx 4 the recipe! Also, is this just deodorant, or is it also an antipersperant? Cuz I sweat too much!

  • Kunga

    You can also add a few drops of neem – it is a strong antibacterial but be careful it smells strong, so only a couple drops. Also adding talc into the recipe might be a good idea. I’ll experiment and post what I find. :) Thanks for this!!

  • Amanda DeLong

    I made my own deodorant and it worked fine for while, then it started getting hotter, now I know in Michigan it’s really that hot, but we are used to snow so 80’s and 90’s with humidity is hot. Anyway, I used it for a while and everything was fine, then I had to start reapplying 2-3 times a day, but when I start reapplying it breaks out my under arms. I have tried using cornstarch and arrowroot, and different kinds of oil and I till can’t get something that will last all day and won’t break me out. If someone could please help, I have gone pretty much all natural and I love it, I just have to get the deodorant down and I’d be all set.

  • […] EcoThrifter wrote a gust post that originally appeared on Sustainable Personal Finance entitled How To Make Deodorant which was subsequently mentioned on The Consumerist.  Congrats go out to Miss […]

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